While doing my usual train-based ogling of strangers this weekend, I came to a realisation that has been on the periphery of my consciousness for a long time. I am never going to be one of those effortlessly elegant women. You know the kind of women I mean… the ones who look radiant even when they’re not wearing any make-up. The ones who can pull their hair into a ponytail when they haven’t had time to wash it and create some kind of gorgeously dishevelled new look. These are the girls who look like models in boardshorts, flipflops and their boyfriend’s outsize t-shirt. The girls who wake up pretty and always know what to wear to fit into any situation.
The EE’s (effortlessly elegant) never spill coffee on a white jumper at 8am and have to wear it all day. They don’t ladder their tights or chip their nail polish or realise far too late in the night that their dress is never going to stay up on its own and they’re now showing much more cleavage than they ever intended. EE’s don’t get streaks of fake tan on their elbows, they can walk in heels ALL DAY and their make-up remains on the part of their face they applied it to… even hours after they put it on. When an EE gets stuck in the rain she comes out with still straight-hair and not looking like a drowned rat.
These are the girls that I hate and envy in equal parts. I won’t deny that I scrub up quite well and that with a fair amount of eyeliner, a lot of blow-drying and the right kind of top, I can just about pull off “attractive in the right lighting” but by the end of a work day, despite the fact that I’ve been sitting at a desk all day, I look like I’ve been digging a hole to New Zealand. My hair turns to a giant ball of frizz at the merest hint of moisture. I have ladders in my tights. Without make-up on I look a bit like an eyeless vole and if I tie my hair back, I just look like a boy with boobs. I can’t wear high high heels and even medium heels have me crying in a corner half way through the evening. In short… if I don’t make an effort, I just look like I really haven’t made an effort… ever. Like I’ve been living in a cave for six months.
The problem is in my mind I think I kind of picture myself as an EE and it’s only when I catch a glimpse of myself in a passing mirror or train window that the full horror if the state of my fringe/make-up/sag that has built it’s way into my skinny jeans comes to light.
So what to do… well I guess a girl has to accept who she is and hope that one day someone else will find my particular brand of “dragged through a bush backwards” charming. So to myself and all the other non-EE’s out there, I give you this quote from Bridget Jones, The Edge Of Reason:
“First off, I embarrass you. I can’t ski, I can’t ride, I can’t speak Latin , my legs only come up to here and yes I will always be just a little bit fat.”